When I talked with Polly Bäumler (link to www.supafemme.com ) about running, I immediately wanted to get up and run. Instead I listened to her more carefully and was intrigued about how sports can really be your biggest support and life-enhancing tool to perfectly balance your body and mind.
With this we are starting our series WE LOVE SPORTS about dedicated sports women who found their personal sports regime to keep them in excellent shape, both physically and mentally.
IRMA: How did you become a runner?
POLLY BÄUMLER: I started running in college. At first, it was simply to score as high as I could on the one-mile P.E. test, but I was immediately hooked! I then ran on the cross country team and the rest is history. Running is a soulful journey that has taught me discipline, courage, confidence and given me the most amazing friendships.
IRMA: Why is running good for you?
POLLY BÄUMLER: For obvious reasons, running is great for physical health, but equally important, running does wonders for your state of mind. With the proper shoes and form, running is one of the most convenient and rewarding forms of exercise. For me, running is an outlet, a time-out from the daily grind when you can ponder about anything and everything, from planning your kids’ birthday party to simply enjoying the meditative sound of each breath and every step.
IRMA: How do you train before a marathon?
POLLY BÄUMLER: About 6 to 8 weeks before a marathon, I follow a regimented training plan that details mileage, pace and specific workouts to prepare your body and mind for race day. My favorite plan so far is the Hansons Marathon Method. Unlike most traditional training plans, Hansons does away with the dreaded super long runs, but is intense enough to get you ready to conquer 26.2 miles. Don’t forget that marathons are as much a challenge for the mind as they are for your body, so it’s important to work on your mental toughness as well.
IRMA: Your favorite brand for your running equipment and why?
POLLY BÄUMLER: Lucky for me that fitness and active wear have become such a huge trend! It seems as though every fashion label is launching their own sportswear line. We have endless options! My faves are Lululemon, Oiselle and Nike, but there are so many amazing brands that I’m dying to try. I look for the right mix of style, functionality and price. I’m not a pretty sight when I’m running, so it’s good if my gear is somewhat fashionable. And cool clothes make working out fun… what better motivation do you need?
IRMA: Which shoes are the best ?
POLLY BÄUMLER: Every runner is different and every runner has their go-to shoe brand. I personally love running in Adidas and New Balance. I recently started using orthotics due to knee pain, so it’s very important to have the proper shoes.
IRMA: In your opinion, when is running best during the day?
POLLY BÄUMLER: Mornings, only mornings. I love to start off with an invigorating run, that feeling of having accomplished so much before the day has really started.
IRMA: Your favorite running path/track?
POLLY BÄUMLER: My favorite route is a 5K loop in the English Garden in Munich that is also very popular with morning bike commuters. People always wonder why I always run the same loop over and over when there are seemingly endless paths in the park. Well, I like to think about ‘other‘ things when I run, and not think about which direction I should go or which turn I should take. I also don’t want the stress of the possibility of getting lost (which could easily happen to me). This way, I feel more free. I also look forward to seeing and greeting familiar faces.
IRMA: What do you think is the best nutrition before training? And after?
POLLY BÄUMLER: Since I run or work out in the mornings, I always have a coffee and a very light breakfast. Most days, this would be a small cup of homemade muesli with yogurt, or toasted bread with butter or avocado. Incidentally, this is also my favorite post-workout snack. I also try to keep dry roasted almonds, chocolate and dates within reach at all times.
Follow Polly on her running experiences around the world: